I was just hired at a law firm where I am going to have to learn a new law-office management program. Being over 60, I’m not super savvy like my 20-something co-workers. What should I study to help me learn new things faster?
What you’re experiencing is very common today as the world of technology continues to evolve around us. Let’s break this down into individual components:
First, you obviously have sufficient computing skills to be able to communicate with me via email, so you can take comfort knowing that any new program is going to utilize many of the same skills you already possess. That being the case, what you will be dealing with in a new program is the functionality of that program.
Clicking is still clicking, moving the cursor is still moving the cursor, no matter what program is involved. Those types of fundamentals are the same in all software.
The key to becoming familiar with new software, whether it’s new law-firm software or any other program, is taking it slowly and exploring each component, each menu bar and each toolbar, one at a time.
If you can find out in advance what new software you will be using, you can probably locate an online user manual, tutorial or website for that program and become familiar with it before starting your new job.
Most importantly, don’t place undue pressure on yourself or allow yourself to become overly anxious about learning new software. Nobody was born knowing how to use computers or software, and even those 20-something co-workers using the same law-firm software for the first time will have to learn it from scratch.
Finally, don’t sell yourself short. Being over 60, you bring with you a lifetime of experience and a work ethic that most young people wouldn’t recognize if it slapped them in the Facebook. If anybody should feel intimidated or concerned, it’s your 20-something co-workers, not you.
In a recent column you mentioned clicking Start > Run and then typing in something. I have Windows 7, but cannot find any Run option on the Start menu.
The Search box that appears on the Start menu provides much of the same functionality as the Run command line, so you can type in whatever command you want on the Search line itself. The Run command line is still available, however, if you prefer to use that.
You can even add it to the Start menu for faster access, if you wish. To add the Run command to the Start menu, open Taskbar and Start Menu Properties by clicking Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Taskbar and Start Menu. Click the Start Menu tab, then click Customize.
From the list of Start menu options, select the Run command check box, then click OK. The Run command will thereafter be displayed on the right side of the Start menu.
Mr. Modem publishes “Ask Mr. Modem!” each week, featuring PC tips, tricks and plain-English answers to your questions by email. For more information, visit www.MrModem.com.
Mr. Modem’s Sites of the Week
Fotosearch Image Library
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If you want to know how walkable your neighborhood is, this site will calculate its “walkability” rating. The score is based on the number of businesses, services and other destinations that are located within walking distance of a given address. Ratings range from zero (“driving only”) to 100 (“walkers’ paradise”). This site inspired me to conduct my own walkability study. The protocol I followed involved getting up off my chair and going for a walk around my neighborhood. Website, shmeb-site. There are some things you simply have to do for yourself.